IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Work Flow Structure: An Analysis for Planning and Control


  • William K. Holstein

    (Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University)

  • William L. Berry

    (Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University)


This paper has two purposes: (1) to propose a new way of conceptualizing job-shop-like manufacturing systems and (2) to suggest how this conceptualization might be applied in the development of planning and control procedures. The concept of "work flow structure" is developed and methods for determining this structure from a sample of job routings or a routing transition matrix are described. Two key notions used to define work flow structure are "paths" of work flow and the relative activity levels or throughput volumes of processing units in the system. Sample results are presented from the application of these methods to data from a large machine shop. The final section of the paper suggests a number of ways in which work flow structure information might be used in procedures for production planning and control. The application areas discussed include product mix planning, capacity planning, personnel assignment, work releasing and dispatching.

Suggested Citation

  • William K. Holstein & William L. Berry, 1970. "Work Flow Structure: An Analysis for Planning and Control," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(6), pages 324-336, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:16:y:1970:i:6:p:b324-b336

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. E. Salveson, 1956. "A Problem in Optimal Machine Loading," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(3), pages 232-260, April.
    2. M. Beckman & R. Muth, 1956. "An Inventory Policy for a Case of Lagged Delivery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(2), pages 145-155, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:16:y:1970:i:6:p:b324-b336. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.